Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Ron Paul Deconstructed the Phony Baloney Left-Right Paradigm


The Republican primary season was a hoot with its seedy cast of characters that included Bat Shit Crazy Bachmann, Sanitorium the Sanctimonious, Slick Rick ‘the Oops candidate’, the Angry Little Lunar Attack Muffin and a dude named Mittens whose claim to fame is that he had the holding power to just wait for his crazy competitors to self-destruct.

 The only sane guy in the Republican sea of insanity was Ron Paul, a guy who campaigned on peace, liberty and prosperity but he was rejected and got booed by a psychopathic Republican debate audience for suggesting that America invoke the Golden Rule when it comes to foreign policy. Republicans don’t like sane and their affinity for the psychopathic is truly mindboggling. But in the end Republican voters quit bickering about who is the craziest candidate and just hold their noses and vote for the most boring candidate that praises Jesus, promises more wars and commits to advancing Republican socialism and crony capitalism. 

The legacy of the 2012 primary season should worry the Dems because it spawned a liberty movement consisting of disgruntled Republicans, disgruntled Democrats, independents and other disaffected voting blocks. The Ron Paul Revolution crossed party lines because it focused on how the damn wars have bankrupted the nation and destroyed the economic but the defining characteristic of the Ron Paul Campaign is that it raised public awareness about the thieving banksters who operate the biggest ongoing crime syndicate in human history through the Federal Reserve.

The Occupy Movement jumped into the political fray with added sparks by emphasizing the difference between the 99% and the 1%.

The Democrat enthusiastically supported Obama in 2008 because he was perceived as anti-war and in opposition to all the things that progressives despise about governance. At least, that’s how Obama waged his magical campaign. But at the end of the day, the Dems just got Obushma, just another elitist bought and paid for New World Order hack that is clearly a wholly owned subsidiary of the banksters, military industrial complex and rent seeking crony capitalists.

Glenn Greenwald, a progressive I greatly admire on many issues, wrote about Ron Paul and his campaign:

The benefits of his candidacy are widely ignored, as are the Democrats' own evils.
Ron Paul’s candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America’s Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it’s one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception...
The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations withdrones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has soughtto overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional voteagainst it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.
He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. assubservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’smost repressive regimes is as strong as ever.
Read the rest here

The words of Glenn Greenwald are indeed a scathing indictment of Obama and the Democratic administration and conclusively prove that there really isn't a spit of difference between the Republican and the Democratic parties, despite the pathetic but vociferous rants at election time that attempt to highlight the differences between the parties.  The only differences lie with the Republican and Democratic voting bases.  The Republicans want things to remain the same - big wars, big bankster bailouts,  big government, big assaults on civil liberties, big entitlements and big government powers.  The Dems generally oppose the wars, the crushing of civil liberties and the big bankster bailouts.  The Dems really do want change but Republicans are totally averse to change.

In the Romney candidacy, Republicans reluctantly agreed that he would continue in the footsteps of Bush/Cheney and while Republicans don't exactly trust Romney they decided to trust him more than they trust Obama.

Another progressive, Matt Stoller, wrote one of the best pieces on Ron Paul from the progressive prospective as Stoller delves into Libertarianism to reconcile prevailing progressive ideology with the Ron Paul movement. Stoller isn't a guy who haphazardly tosses out words nor does he fall into the typical liberal trap of justifying Obama's actions. Stoller has been on a soul searching mission to understand the Ron Paul movement and its vast appeal to frustrated Americans. Stoller actually accomplishes something that few progressives can comprehend, namely, that the American Empire and the wars that they so despise are indeed a direct result of the Federal Reserve that they tend to worship because it facilitates a monstrous nanny state federal government and its social entitlements.
The most perplexing character in Congress, ideologically speaking, is Ron Paul....
And as I’ve drilled into Paul’s ideas, his ideas forced me to acknowledge some deep contradictions in American liberalism (pointed out years ago by Christopher Laesch) and what is a long-standing, disturbing, and unacknowledged affinity liberals have with centralized war financing. So while I have my views of Ron Paul, I believe that the anger he inspires comes not from his positions, but from the tensions that modern American liberals bear within their own worldview.....
Now, if you’re a libertarian, and you believe that centralized power is dangerous, then it’s obvious that state control over finance and mass mobilization of social resources for warfare or other ends are two sides of the same coin....
Modern liberalism is a mixture of two elements. One is a support of Federal power – what came out of the late 1930s, World War II, and the civil rights era where a social safety net and warfare were financed by Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the RFC, and human rights were enforced by a Federal government, unions, and a cadre of corporate, journalistic and technocratic experts (and cheap oil made the whole system run.) America mobilized militarily for national priorities, be they war-like or social in nature....
This is why Ron Paul can critique the Federal Reserve and American empire, and why liberals have essentially no answer to his ideas, arguing instead over Paul having character defects. Ron Paul’s stance should be seen as a challenge to better create a coherent structural critique of the American political order. It’s quite obvious that there isn’t one coming from the left, otherwise the figure challenging the war on drugs and American empire wouldn’t be in the Republican primary as the libertarian candidate. To get there, liberals must grapple with big finance and war, two topics that are difficult to handle in any but a glib manner that separates us from our actual traditional and problematic affinity for both. War financing has a specific tradition in American culture, but there is no guarantee war financing must continue the way it has.
Read the rest here
Naked Capitalism

It's abundantly clear that while thinking progressives are perplexed by Ron Paul, they also deeply respect him on many levels because there's a lot about Ron Paul that is hugely appealing to progressives.

As a libertarian, I don't share progressive views on most issues but I most assuredly do sympathize with their frustration on big issues like foreign policy and how the Federal Reserve actually expanded and consolidated raw and absolute power into the hands of the 1%. Furthermore, I cling to the hope that if we can achieve sound money that isn't manipulated by Wall Street and end the perpetual wars by slaying the military industrial complex, then America will definitely be a far more prosperous and freer place. We'd solve about 75% of our problems and we could fight about the rest of the stuff later.

Progressives definitely have a vested interest in listening to and learning from Ron Paul and his supporters. If the Democratic Party can be forced into the same ideological battle that liberty activists within the Republican party advanced with courage and conviction, then the Democratic Party will be the big winner, along with the American people.

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